Linda Brand has been an anchor in the middle school office for the last eighteen years. As a McDonogh parent, Linda impressed Head of Middle School Michael Merskey so much that he felt he could not run the Middle School without her, and he hired her on the spot. Linda has been the warm welcome at the Middle School front door ever since.
It is Linda’s nurturing spirit that has enabled her to fill the role of a surrogate mother to thousands of middle school students over the years. Coming to Mrs. Brand’s office is always a pleasure. There, a student can always find an emergency band-aid or a cough drop, and, most importantly, a reassuring smile. Students find her welcoming, warm, and understanding. Those who have moved on to the Upper School frequently come back to Finney to visit with her. Parents find Mrs. Brand easy to talk to and confide in. Faculty find her willing to do anything to help and a friend who will listen.
Linda’s top priority is keeping the Middle School running smoothly and the faculty happy. From the first late student “sign ins” in the morning, answering the numerous phone calls throughout the day, the many trips chasing lost students and sometimes teachers, the delivery of countless messages, to helping out in the upper and middle school libraries, Linda manages to remain organized and complete every task efficiently. We have come to depend on her for accurate attendance, just one of her many daily duties. How will Mr. Ford ever keep track of all the children without her?
Her love of all is witnessed in her family. Her son, Chad, is a 1998 graduate of McDonogh. Recently married and living in Pittsburgh, he is a financial advisor who manages his own company. After the death of her father, Linda became the main caregiver of her mother.
Mrs. Brand, you have no idea how much you are loved and how much you will be missed by parents, students, staff, and faculty. We thank you for all you’ve done for us, and we wish you a long, healthy, and enjoyable retirement. You deserve it!!!